Parent’s Progress 8.22.13

A new school year is underway. If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering how the summer passed so quickly. You also may be wondering how to take advantage of the time that is left, in each day, and perhaps, before your child moves on to college. Here are some resources that I use. All of them provide excellent discussion starting ideas, for a meal or an ongoing time.

 

The Youth Culture Report

The Center for Parent / Youth Understanding

The Source for Parents



No Time For Silence

220px-TrayvonMartinHooded[1]Last Saturday a Florida Jury acquitted Mr. George Zimmerman in the death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, and catalyzed an escalating movement of protest and resolve throughout the nation.  While many contend that neither Martin’s death nor the verdict was motivated by race, many others would disagree.  In the midst of that argument, several realities seem painfully clear to me.

  • The U.S. remains deeply divided along racial lines.
  • The poor, many of whom are persons of color, often live on the margins of our society, particularly in the cities.
  • The social and cultural disintegration at work in our society in general proves most damaging and intense on the margins, and affects those who live there in glaringly disproportionate ways.
  • The pursuit of justice for wrongs sustained by those on the margins regularly proves frustrating, futile, and can even lead to even more injustice.

At our best, Free Methodists understand and embrace Jesus’ passionate love for all people, and especially the poor. 


Read more...

Love Like I Couldn’t Describe

Cover Image

“‘You don’t really believe God saves tears, do you?’

‘I think he counts them.’

‘Why would he do that?’

‘That’s when he’s the most attentive.’

‘How do you know that?’

‘He hangs out around human suffering.’

‘How do you know?’

‘Look at where Jesus went. Where there was pain, there was Jesus.’

‘But you’re Jewish.’

‘Just on my mother’s side.’

‘Then he must be at the hospital a lot. You think he’s here beside Bender?’

‘Of course.’

‘Do you ever feel him?’ she asked.

‘I started out just talking to him, like he’s a regular guy. With due respect, he’s, well, God and all that. But then one day, he was just there.’

‘Did he say anything?’

‘Not out loud. But I felt him with me, like he was there listening to me.’

‘What was he like?’

‘Love like I couldn’t describe. You try it. Just get alone someplace and talk to him. See if he shows up. What would it hurt?’”

Excerpted from The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman


Daily Reflection: What have you talked with God about today?



Making Disciples

 

Natura Wright (Photo by Andy Owen)

BY JEFF FINLEY

Some church planters look for desirable locations with demographics that would appeal to shopping-center developers.

Then there’s Pastor Natura Wright, who chose to move LifeSong, a Free Methodist church plant, to a park with a bad reputation in the economically challenged Walnut Hills neighborhood of Massillon, Ohio.

Wright decided to relocate the young church to Walnut Hills after meeting with Massillon’s then-Police Chief Robert Williams to find the city’s area of greatest need.


Read more...

Pleasing God in Heaven

Cover Image

“The Christians living in Philippi had given gifts of money, which Paul described as ‘a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God’ (Philippians 4:18). Another translation gives us this perspective on the gifts: ‘[They are the] fragrant odor of an offering and sacrifice which God welcomes and in which He delights’ (amp).

Our gifts today can do a lot of good. They can feed the hungry, heal the sick, encourage the brokenhearted, and spread the good news. But most importantly, they can please God in heaven, connecting His children to Him.
Think about that.”

Excerpted from Plastic Donuts by Jeff Anderson



Parent’s Progress 8.15.13

This week I am bringing you a lengthier article, but one which should leave you thinking…and responding.

 

The Naked Truth
The Rise of Sex & Nudity in America

by Jonathan McKee

“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:25) 
“Shame” is so last year. Nudity is rapidly becoming “no big deal.” Call it an argument for a creator. People just can’t seem to get enough of God’s creation… the naked woman.

If you don’t have a TV, a smartphone, or haven’t walked through Times Square recently, maybe you haven’t noticed. But it’s becoming more common to see topless women on today’ top television shows, in music videos… and even walking along the street.


Read more...

A Missions Update

“Home Assignment” with Mike & Vickie Reynen

In reality, since arriving on May 29th, we haven’t really been “home” much! But we’ve enjoyed visiting supporting churches, being with family and friends, supporting Bible Quizzing and hopefully encouraging others to be even more involved in missions! It’s all good–and we’re thankful for the opportunity to reconnect. 🙂

To see this article, click here.



Do Not Be Afraid

joshua-1-9

Be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged, for I will be with you wherever you go. You can choose to be strong and courageous even when you are feeling very weak. However, the weaker you feel, the more effort it takes to choose to be strong. It all depends on where you look. If you gaze at yourself and your problems, your courage will melt away. The choice to be bold rests on your confidence that I am with you and for you. Through eyes of faith, see Me on the path before you, beckoning you on, one step at a time. Looking to Me consistently will increase your strength and valor.


Read more...

A New Heart

by John Eldredge

I will plant a new heart and new spirit inside of you. — Ezekiel 36:26 (The Voice)

The Big Lie in the church today is that you are nothing more than “a sinner saved by grace.” You are a lot more than that. You are a new creation in Christ. The New Testament calls you a saint, a holy one, a son of God.

In the core of your being you are a good person.

Yes, there is a war within us, but it is a civil war. The battle is not between us and God; no, there is a traitor within us who wars against our true heart fighting alongside the Spirit of God in us.

A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death . . . If the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus. (Romans 8:2, Romans 8:11)

The real you is on the side of God against the false self. Knowing this makes all the difference in the world. The person who wants to live valiantly will lose heart quickly if he believes that his heart is nothing but sin. Why fight?

* * *

Your Turn

“In the core of your being, you are a good person.” Does that ring true for you, or have you believed that your heart, your inner being is basically bad? If you’ve believed the latter, consider for a moment how that may have deflated your passion for seeking to be a hero for others, a champion for the Kingdom of God. Read Ezekiel 36:26 again. How do you respond? Please leave a message on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily



Jesus Changed Everything

Richard Stearns

Unfinished_image3

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. — Romans 10:9

Years ago, I was dating a young woman named Reneé whom I loved very much. The only problem was that she was a committed Christian and I was an atheist. And to her, the truth that God had sent His Son, Jesus, to teach us, forgive us, and offer us a new way to live changed everything about her life—including who she would marry.


Read more...